Posts by tag: Zane

Laverda April 10, 2019 posted by

Budget Exotic: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale

I’m a huge Laverda fan, so it’s disappointing their attempted resurrection in the 1990s didn’t work out. It wasn’t that bikes like this Ghost Strike weren’t any good: the beam frames were designed by the famed Nico Bakker and handling was generally considered excellent, even superior to Ducatis competing in the same segments. The standard Ghost used a trellis frame similar to the ones that underpinned the Ducati Monster, although the Strike featured a beam frame using identical geometry that was shared with the fully-faired 750S and Formula models. Suspension was fully-adjustable, with a set of beefy Paioli forks at the front. There was some very forward-thinking in the layout as well, as you’ll notice that the “gas tank” is actually an airbox, with the actual filler-cap hiding under the lockable pillion pad. The fuel cell was centrally-located for better balance, a feature seen on many modern motorcycles.

The biggest weak point of the design was the engine. Based on the positively ancient 500 that had been around since the Alpino of the late 1970s, it was fairly sophisticated when it was introduced, with dual overhead cams, a balance shaft to smooth the parallel twin’s vibration, and a six-speed gearbox. Of course, that wasn’t much to brag about by the time the mid-1990s rolled around. For the Ghost and Sport, Laverda punched the twin out to 650 and then 668cc, then later added water-cooling for the fully-faired 750S and Formula models. It made decent-enough power and liked to rev, but was considered a bit agricultural, and not as strong as options from Ducati, as the 904cc v-twin in the Monster had much more torque and the four-valve Ducatis were just more refined.

It’s doubtful the Laverda Ghost will ever be worth very much, at least not in the near future. It’s appeal is primarily one of novelty, since it’s not an especially noteworthy motorcycle and the brand has ceased production. But the low market values, quirky design, and good performance make it very appealing for budget-minded enthusiasts. Power is modest, but the handling is excellent, and you certainly won’t see another at your local bike hangout.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale

1998 Laverda Ghost Strike. Very stock and clean “no stories” survivor bike with low 11,000 km (~7000 miles). This has a clean California title and it is currently running fabulously. The previous adult owner used it sparingly. Tires, battery and fluids are all good. There is no crash damage.

The Ghost is the probably most approachable of the Zane Laverdas- its simplified air cooled engine is more dependable than the water cooled Formula 750s. It has a modern twin spar frame and top shelf suspension, brakes and other components. It’s easy to ride, service and enjoy. These bikes will only increase in value over time.

I also have a small of collection of spares for Zane Laverdas as we have parted a few of them out… including one other another clean Ghost Strike. Message us for details.

You can pickup in San Francisco Bay area. I can also transport this to the Los Angeles area inexpensively. I can also ship this with Forward Air in teh US for $780  to most major airports with a Forward Air Terminal. Message me for details.

This example looks very complete and the mileage is low, although it’s hard to really tell from the washed-out pictures just how nice it is. It’s important that the bike appears to be very complete, and the spares he mentions are especially nice since, since finding parts for a relatively low-volume Italian sportbike that had little-to-no presence here in the US could prove problematic. There appears to be some oxidation on the engine and some wear on the top triple-clamp, but otherwise looks pretty nice. If the Reserve is anywhere near the $3,399.99 starting bid, this could be a fun little choice for a collector with a love for weird Italian exotica, or someone looking for a characterful bike on a limited budget.

-tad

Budget Exotic: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale
Laverda December 28, 2018 posted by

Bet on Black: 1998 Laverda Black Strike Cafe Racer for Sale

As Laverda rose from the ashes of the 1970s, they saw Ducati as a natural rival, inspiration, and target. Yes, I know that Laverda continued to produce new motorcycles into the 1980s, but those were just 1970s engines wrapped in new clothes, a pattern that would continue when the company was reborn in the 1990s… So as the 750S was intended to target the Ducati 748, the Boys from Breganze needed something to compete with, and hopefully sell as well as, Ducati’s parts-bin success story, the fabled Monster. Enter, the Laverda Ghost Strike.

The original Ghost used a trellis-style frame apparently intended to mirror the Ducati Monster, although the restyled Strike version seen here used a beam frame designed by the famed Nico Bakker, along with restyled bodywork and a twin-headlamp setup in a handlebar-mounted bikini fairing. Interestingly, the Ghost was available with both trellis and aluminum beam frames concurrently to suit different stylistic tastes. Fortunately, geometry and weight are identical, so the bike’s excellent handling was unaffected.

High-quality components like Paioli suspension and Brembo brakes spoke to Laverda’s serious intent, and the bike was one of the first production motorcycles with a centrally-located fuel cell. In this case, the aluminum cell is fitted behind the engine, leaving the “gas tank” to be an airbox, possibly to the confusion on new riders and onlookers since there is no gas cap, just a blank expanse of plastic. The actual filler cap is in the tail, under a plastic panel or a pillion pad, depending on what mood you’re in that day.

It was the engine, a development of the 500cc parallel twin first seen in the Alpino and introduced way back in 1977, was always the Zanè-era Laverda’s Achilles’ heel. It wasn’t a bad starting point, as it already had dual overhead-cams, four valves per cylinder, and a six-speed gearbox. For this more modern application, the air and oil-cooled parallel twin was punched out to 668cc and fitted with Weber-Marelli fuel injection for a claimed 70hp.

Viewed in isolation, the engine did a fine job: it was naturally compact, liked to rev, and made decent power. Unfortunately, it was up against the torquier, two-valve Pantah in the Monster and needed to be worked harder for the same result. The engine later gained a few cubes and liquid-cooling for the Sport models like the Formula, but that bike was pitched against the Ducati 748 and, while handling as as good or better, the Laverda’s 1970s roots were unfortunately showing by then.

Overall, the Ghost’s styling is… distinctive. It’s not a pretty bike, but looks aggressive and purposeful, a worthy competitor to the Monster. However, while both are designed to provide an Italian bike experience for the proles, the Monster looks like its own thing, but the Ghost hasn’t aged quite as gracefully and doesn’t hide it’s parts-bin origins as well.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Laverda Black Strike Cafe Racer

If you are looking at this auction, you probably know what this is. This is a Zane Laverda Black Strike Café Racer 650/668. This is an extremely rare motorcycle. Only 50 total were built and only a few made it to the United States. Of these, this one has only 1 true mile on the odometer.

The black strike edition was a kind of a one-off within the Zanè-era lineup and incorporated all the top shelf goodness of the Laverda marque at the time; a Nico Bakker designed frame, 3 sets of Brembo brake calipers, Marchesini wheels and a letterbox gas tank that reduces the center of gravity (which is still pretty advanced after 14 years). And the fact that you can still get a Zanè-era Laverda for reasonable money whereas a lot of Breganze-era bikes have begun to appreciate beyond the reach of us mere mortals is another plus.

The air-cooled 668 engine and Nico Bakker designed frame were from the 668 Sport model, while the seating and gauge clusters where from the the 668 Ghost.The 668 Black Strike was also the first model with the lighter plastic gas tank, straight exhausts without the restricted collector box and also offered a few bits of optional carbon fiber such as exhausts and optional front fender/mudguard.

The Black Strike model was produced in 1997/98 at the number of 50 units and since Laverda is now a mothballed marque within Aprilia Piaggio this is definitely a rare bike.

The story behind this bike supposedly is, that Laverda brought a handful of bikes to Laguna Seca in 1997 to have them tested and rideen by the press. After a couple bikes were crashed by journalists, Laverda pulled the remaining bikes, but instead of sending them back to Italy, they passed them on to selected dealers. This is one of these bikes. 

Original owner. Bike purchased from Space Coast Cycle in Coco Beach. It was started by the dealership when bought and never started  again.  

Other Zanè Laverdas for sale: 1999 Formula and 1998 Legend. Inquiries welcome.

Some specs: 

  • Air/Oil cooled parallel twin, four stroke, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Electronic Fuel Injection
  • 6-speed
  • 668cc Bore x Stroke 78.5x 68.8mm 
  • Compression 9.0:1 
  • 70HP @8,000 rpm  – 61Nm@ 7250 rpm

Buyer to make arrangements for shipping/pick-up

Bike is located south of Cleveland, Ohio.

I’d never actually heard of the Black Strike Café Racer before seeing this, which makes sense since they only made 50 of them, according to the seller. A good Monster offers Italian looks, sound, and performance potential with much better parts availability, but the big appeal of any Zanè-era Laverda is rarity: I ran into a nice, yellow Ghost Strike here in SoCal and my riding buddies had absolutely never heard of the damn thing. All “murdered out,” this Black Strike does have a very sinister 90s vibe that I like and, if being different is your thing, you sure as hell won’t see another one at your next bike night. If anyone knows a good Laverda mechanic, feel free to share in the comments…

-tad

Bet on Black: 1998 Laverda Black Strike Cafe Racer for Sale
Laverda November 7, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

Update 12.12.2018: The seller has notified us that this bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Sort of an homologation special for a company that wasn’t planning to actually go racing, the Laverda 750S Formula used premium components to upgrade the company’s existing fully-faired sportbike. After falling on hard times in the 1980s, Laverda was resurrected in the 1990s, with production centered in the town of Zanè, so you’ll sometimes see these referred to as “Zane-era Laverdas” to differentiate them from the 1970s classics. The revitalized company managed to make very nice sports motorcycles with limited resources, and the Formula took their  750S and added some of the very best components available at the time to create something they hoped would give them the kind of reputation and attention Ducati enjoyed with their Tamburini-designed superbikes.

Laverdas of the period used either a steel trellis or an aluminum beam frame that apparently shared the same geometry, which was a very good thing. The Nico Bakker-designed beam frame, polished as seen here on the Formula, gave the 750S an excellent foundation, and Paioli suspension kit at both ends just sweetened the deal: every period review I’ve seen raved about the bike’s handling. Unfortunately, they also noted the bike’s performance deficit, compared to the Ducati 748.

These days, parallel twins can be made to be very smooth and refined with balance shafts and other trickery, but at the time, the only real reason Laverda chose that configuration was practicality: they already had one. Dating back to the 1970s Alpino, the existing air-cooled 500cc unit had its carburetors replaced with Weber-Marelli fuel injection for more modern performance, and was enlarged to 668cc, then again to 747cc. Along the way, it gained liquid cooling, although you can still see the cooling fins once the fairings are off.

Claimed peak power was on par with the competing Ducati 748, but the reality was that, although handling was possibly even superior to the Ducati, the engine was not. It was peaky, a bit thrashy, and it loved to rev, although you really had to work the six-speed gearbox to keep up with a 748. That shouldn’t bother prospective buyers today: either bike would get murdered by a modern 600. And while the 748 is a design classic, it’s almost too familiar, a cliché. The Formula, on the other hand, is a very exclusive machine, with around 600 examples built. It’s also more comfortable, if you care about that, and while the Formula is not as pretty as the 748, it is very striking in these black-and-orange colors.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

1999 Laverda 750 Formula S. 750CC  (6790 ORIGINAL MILES)  $12,500

This is a 2 owner bike, part of a very rare large collection now being offered for the first time via the web. Current owner is an avid collector of pure, rare Automotive and motorcycles. This concourse conditioned bike has all the correct lightweight carbon parts and pieces. Never been on a track, abused or laid down. In a private heated collection, never seen rain. This investment will only increase over time and you will be very hard pressed to ever see another one, clearly not like this with these miles.

Laverda’s Formula S is essentially a factory built special edition of the basic Formula, with extensive engine tuning and even more special chassis componentry. The original Formula was a 650, built in 1996, with the Formula 750 following a year later in 1997.

The engine work was more extensive than most factory specials, and took the Formula almost to a race tune straight from the showroom. Updated cams, revised fuel injection settings and carbon fiber Termignoni mufflers all boost top end power to an impressive claimed figure of (92BHP)- almost as much as the Ducati 748. The chassis also compares to the Ducati being considerably lighter and with suspension and braking components every bit as impressive.

Fully adjustable Paioli Upside Down forks and monoshock. Fully floating Brembo racing brakes and lightweight Marchesini wheels all play their part in giving the Formula impeccable manners for the street or track. The polished aluminum beam frame looks much more impressive than the Ducati’s thin steel tube!! A single seat race style fairing incorporates stylish cooling louvers and twin endurance style headlights, and is finished in Laverda Orange, the firm’s racing colors.

This is your chance to stand out and be different with a stunning example of Italian heritage.

I’ve lusted after these for a while now, and this appears to be a very clean, low-mileage example that should appeal to collectors with a taste for the exotic. The mirrors appear to have been removed and the standard exhausts were carbon fiber, but these Termignoni parts are a desirable extra. Certainly, the name “Laverda” has a great deal of cachet with collectors and this bike represents a missed opportunity for the brand: it’s a good, if flawed bike, and really did offer an interesting alternative to the Ducati. Parts for Zane-era Laverdas can be tricky to source, depending on what you need, but I expect this one will end up leading a pampered life in a collection somewhere and won’t rack up enough miles to matter very much.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale
Laverda June 2, 2016 posted by

Classic or Crock: Zane era 1999 Laverda Formula

The re-launch of Top Gear UK earlier this week has made me a bit nostalgic for the old version of the show, so I thought I would do this post in the style of the old TG UK game of “Classic or Crock?” – Marty

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1999 Laverda Formula for sale on Ebay

Following a bankruptcy in 1994, the Laverda marque was bought by Francisco Tognon who re-started produced using existing designs.  Early models of the re-launched Laverda included an air cooled 650 trellis framed bike known as the Ghost that was very similar to the Ducati Monster and a 650 sportbike known simply enough as the 650 (Note: A limited edition 650 sport with Kevlar bodywork was also produced).

In the following years Laverda tried to follow the model established by John Bloor’s reborn Triumph motorcycles with modular models and incremental designs.  This philosophy resulted in bikes like the 668 Ghost, the 668 sport and when a new water cooled engine was developed in 1997, a 750 Ghost which was a standard style bike, a street oriented sportbike known as the 750S and finally a “top shelf” 750cc Sportbike known as the “Formula” or 750SF.

Even with the re-launch and influx of new capital, Laverda struggled to compete against the Japanese and within a few years ownership started to squabble.  Tognon left in 2000 taking the plans for a new triple engine with him (which became the new powerplant of the reborn Benelli Tornedo Tre 900).  The entire Laverda concern was acquired by Aprilia in 2001 and hopes were high for a bit but Aprilia itself was also struggling and when Aprilia was acquired by Piaggio a few years later the Laverda marque was mothballed.  

About 5000 bikes in total were produced across the entire lineup during 1994-2000 zane era, with maybe 1/4 of those coming into the USA starting in 1997 and a very small portion of those being the top shelf 750SF formula in 1998 and 1999.

RESULT:  Classic. The bike being sold is the top shelf bike in the entire lineup, production numbers were very limited and location all factor in.

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Often referred to as “Zanes” or “Zane-era bikes” due to the factory moving about 5 miles from the town of Breganze to the town of Zane, the last generation Laverda bikes had a lot of top shelf components incorporated into their design, including a letterbox gas tank, a Nico Bakker designed frame, Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes, and Paoli forks and shocks.  Overall they were well designed and were strong performance competitors to the 750 Ducati of the same era.   The 750 formula also received upgraded camshafts, race spec ECU’s and optional race oriented exhausts.

However the final edition Laverda models were not without fault.   Typical Italian electrics of the period including narrow gauge wire and tuning for us emissions meant heavy loads on the generator system, resulting in failing voltage regulators and rough starting.  Also oiling issues were reported to occur causing crank/big end failure after around 25,000 miles, although this problem was a bit hit-or-miss depending on how the bikes were maintained and ridden.  Perhaps most significantly, the engine was still a parallel twin that could trace it roots back to the Breganze-era Alpino model of the 1970’s and produced less that 100bhp.   Faced with competition like the ZX7 and GSX-750R, the Laverda 750SF was beautiful and handled incredibly well but couldn’t really compete on a straight line or the track.

RESULT:  Crock. I want to say classic given all the goodies it has but given the possibility of crank issues and the fact that the brand is out of business the result has to be Crock.

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The condition of this particular 1999 Laverda Formula 750SF looks to be in pristine.  Turn signals, bar ends, mirrors and the rear license plate assembly all look to be original/OEM and the condition of the decals, forks and mirrors show no indication of the bike having been down.   The only non-original pieces I am seeing is an airbox cover scratch pad, what looks like a replacement chain and possibly the 3 screws on the dash although those might simply be rusty (a common occurrence on these particular parts).

The seller doesn’t list any maintenance history but the condition of the main key lock and windscreen convinces me that the bike has been stored inside.  However the color of the brake and clutch fluid also makes me think the bike has not been gone through recently, so new owners should expect to spend monies on fluids, brake pads and possibly rubber.

RESULT:  Classic.  Condition on this one looks to be nearly perfect and required maintenance looks to be a standard used bike freshening

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Given the fact the Laverda marque is shut down, I don’t think these bikes are a good fit for casual riders/anyone not prepared to do their own maintenance. Also right now these final edition Laverdas are not as valued as the bikes from the preceding Breganze-era, with all the Zane-era bikes seem to be in the same price band of around $2800-$6200 USD.  It will probably take another 5-10 years before the Zane-era bikes crack the 10k value mark.

RESULT:  Crock (for someone looking for an easy maintain daily rider or a short term collector).

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OVERALL VERDICT:  Short Term Crock, Long Term Classic.

I know, I know…the classic/crock score is a toss-up.  Also since I own several of these bikes I have to recognize/admit that my personal feelings may be skewing my evaluation of this bike .  But this 1999 Laverda Formula 750SF meets all the raresportbike criteria (numbers produced, technology, condition and location).  Also it is the top line formula/750SF model,  condition looks to pristine with almost 100% OEM parts and it is from a discontinued but still fondly remembered marque…so I still am leaning towards classic.

I think in order for this one to move the buyer will either be a collector with a longer term outlook or someone who already has a few bikes and wants to own something a bit different…it would certainly look cool if you rode up to it at your next bike night.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Classic or Crock: Zane era 1999 Laverda Formula
Laverda November 30, 2015 posted by

Red, Rare, and Italian:
1999 Laverda 750S in Alabama (relisted)

Update 11.29.2015 – This one originally sold back in June of last year in Alabama. Since then it has been listed multiple times on eBay but now the seller has decided to price is right about where it was last year (sold in June 2014 for $3,334.99, current bid is $3,444.00). Only 20 hours left so if this one interests you, move fast! – Marty

The last generation Laverdas aren’t commanding prices anywhere near the 70’s/Breganze era bikes but that could begin to change pretty quick. Often referred to as Zane era bikes (due to the the factory moving to the town of Zane), the last generation Laverda bikes had a Nico Bakker designed frame, Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes, Paoli forks and shocks, and a cool letterbox fuel tank system that caused the center of gravity to improve as the fuel level went down. Overall they were well designed and were strong performance competitors to the 750 Ducati of the same era.

1999 Laverda 750S for sale one eBay

1999 Laverda 750S for sale

For 1999-2000, there were 4 different 750cc based models offered; the the 750 Strike (a standard style) in mother of pearl blue or orange, the 750 formula in black, the 750S with half-fairings in silver or black, and the 750s Carenata (which means fairing in Italian) in yellow or red. This example is a 99 750s Carenata model with the red bodywork and has very low mileage.

The seller back in 2014 indicated this was part of a collection, and didn’t  include a lot of information.  The pics below are from the previous post while the new seller has provided many more pics from what I can see, the current seller has only replaced the rear tire and possibly done other regular maintenance (such as a battery)…

from the June 2014 seller:

1999 LAVERDA 750 CARENATA in great condition. Never wrecked and clear title! Only two owners and very low mileage! In great condition – only defect is a flat tire (which can easily be replaced for minimal expense). I am an owner selling off my motorcycle collection. I am a motivated seller! Bid now!

This particular bike auction has been listed before on ebay and here on RSBFS with the seller asking for about $6500 usd.  Click here to see that post and related links to the auction but as noted in the post header, the market price for the 750s carenta model seems to be more about $3,500 USD right now.

As regular readers of RSBFS know, I am a big fan of these bikes and I have to admit I personally hope these appreciate in the future.  But given the evidence of this postings history, I don’t know if that’s likely.   I guess this one will appeal to the rider who wants a late 90’s italian sportbike that isn’t a Ducati…

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Red, Rare, and Italian:  </BR> 1999 Laverda 750S in Alabama (relisted)
Laverda October 20, 2015 posted by

Zané-Era Bargain: 1998 Laverda Ghost for Sale

1998 Laverda Ghost R Side Rear

Today’s Laverda Ghost will certainly have a predictable share of haters, but it offered up a unique, stylish alternative to bikes like Ducati’s Monster. Powered by an air/oil-cooled, four-valve per cylinder 668cc parallel-twin with Weber-Marelli fuel injection that put a claimed 70hp through the six-speed gearbox, the bike was down on power a bit when compared to the competition, but made up for that deficit with superlative handling.

1998 Laverda Ghost L Side

The seller mentions that this is the “desired trellis frame model.” I’m not sure if he means from a styling or performance standpoint. Laverda claimed the geometry and weight were exactly the same for the Ghost and the Ghost Strike, with looks being the primary difference between the two frames: since they’d already developed the beam frame for the faired Formula, they felt it made sense to offer it as an option for the naked model as well.

Certainly the trellis frame looks better, but the beam frame used in the Ghost Strike and the 750 Formula models was designed by the famous Nico Bakker and, whether you love or hate the looks, those Formulas are famously good-handling machines, easily the equal of anything available at the time.

1998 Laverda Ghost Dash

From the photos, you can see that this Ghost also shares the Formula’s high-quality Paoli adjustable front and rear suspension, something that would give it a serious leg up compared to most Ducati Monsters of the period. Unfortunately, although the bike is fitted with top-shelf components, the odd looks are a bit of an acquired taste, and are not helped by the aftermarket fairing fitted to this bike.

If you look closely, you’ll also notice that there’s no fuel-filler on top of the “gas tank.” Interestingly, this was one of the first sportbikes to use a fuel cell to help maximize airbox volume and centralize mass: fuel goes into a filler hidden underneath the passenger seat.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Laverda Ghost for Sale

This is the desired trellis frame model. Bought new in 1999 from dealer here in Birmingham. Bike has been inside all of its life and is in pristine condition. There are two scuff marks on the front fender which may be buffed out. Tires are new, as is the battery. Bike is stock except for the aftermarket fairing, 2-into-1 Leo Vinci carbon fiber exhaust and Power Commander to tame the original quirky fuel injection system. An expensive dyno tuning was done on the F.I. mapping. Reason for selling is that the bike hasn’t been ridden for 3 years and it should go to an owner who will ride it.

1998 Laverda Ghost Exhaust

This example, although poorly photographed, looks to be in very nice shape. And you can see a number of other classic Italian cars and motorcycles in the background, so the bike has certainly been owned by a dedicated enthusiast! Although many scoff at these later Zané-era Laverdas as being “not the real thing,” they offer up genuine Italian style, handling, and quirk. With just 6,000 miles on the clock and a Buy It Now price of $3,200 this is a screaming deal for lovers of bargain exotica.

-tad

1998 Laverda Ghost R Side

Zané-Era Bargain: 1998 Laverda Ghost for Sale
Laverda October 5, 2015 posted by

Keep the lav going: 1999 Laverda Formula on ebay uk

Hot on the heels of the RGS posted by Tad D on Sunday, here is a very lovely 1999 Laverda Formula 750s Formula edition for sale on ebay UK.

I will admit to being biased about the bike posted below; its one of my personal favorites.  The Formula editions were the top of the lineup bike of the Zane era, with upgraded camshafts and race-spec ECU chips.  These upgrades were in addition to the 750 series standard kit of a Nico Baker designed frame, marchesini wheels, letterbox gas tank, brembo brakes and carbon fiber goodies.  Plus the black and orange bodywork (which was the original livery/paint scheme offered by the factory) is attractive but not outlandish; not as monocromatic as a Ducati 748 but not as graphically eye bending as a Vance and Hines edition Yamaha FZR.

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1999 Laverda Formula for sale on ebay uk

While reviews declared the parallel twin powered Laverda to be an equal to or better than its competion (such as the Ducati 748), the Formula edition only lasted for two years.  The effort was hampered by a nearly non-existent marketing budget, squabbling ownership and typical small manufacturer production concerns.   On top of this, the the Zane-era laverda’s developed a reputation for crank problems due to oiling issues at high mileage.   The entire concern fell apart in late 2000 and entered bankruptcy and while an attempted rescue by Aprilia raised hopes for a bit, Aprilia itself was soon acquired by Piaggio and the marque was shelved in 2003.  The result is that the 1999 and 2000 series Formula are considered to be the last true race spec Laverda’s produced.

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Condition of this particular formula looks excellent, with only some small aftermarket parts such as a double bubble screen, footpeg ends and handgrips appearing to be non-standard/OEM.  The only issues I see in the pics (other than the aftermarket pieces) is a bit of paint being off the wheels and the very edge of the lower fairing, both typical items for an italian bike of this era.  Also the speedo is cracked but the seller indicates a replacement is available.

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Regarding maintenance, the seller states that a recommended upgrade to a stainless oil filter and oil upgrade to prevent the aforementioned crank issues has already been done. The seller is also an active poster on the yahoo zanelist forum and appears to have a nice 2000 series formula still tucked away in the garage, so the knowledge of what it takes to maintain the bike would seem to be genuine.

Here is some other things the the seller mentions in their ebay post

  • Battery is fine and charges, lights work and indicators flash, never failed to start.
  • Have previous MOT’s, a stamped service book and the original owners manuals, both for the bike and Paioli suspension. I’ll put a new MOT on it too.
  • One of the pictures shows a crack on the speedo face. I have another set of clocks that I can throw in with the sale should the price be right.
  • There is also a small amount of flaking to the wheels, an unfortunate side effect of aluminium wheels. These can be re-powder coated for around £80-£100 per set.

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Is this bike worth the 4000 GBP asking price?  Actually I think its worth more, given its condition and rareity.  Prices are definitely starting to creep up on the Formula editions, with the 2000 series really jumping up lately.  1999 versions of the Formula like this one are are essentially the same bike with different bodywork  and this one looks to be in very good condition.

Overall I think this is a great opportunity for a collector or laverda fan in the UK to obtain one of the final “true” laverda bikes.   and perhaps enjoy it a bit or tuck it away in a collection and let prices keep appreciating.  Long term I think this one will definitely be more treat than trick.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Keep the lav going:  1999 Laverda Formula on ebay uk
Laverda July 1, 2015 posted by

1st time on RSBFS: Laverda Black Strike 668 in the UK

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Here is one we haven’t had on RSBFS previously, a Zane-era Laverda 668 Black Strike.   The Black Strike model incorporated all the top shelf goodness of the Laverda marque at the time; a Nico Baker designed frame, 3 sets of brembro brake calipers, Marchesini wheels and a letterbox gas tank that reduces the center of gravity (which is still pretty advanced after 14 years). And the fact that you can still get a Zane-era Laverda for reasonable money whereas a lot of Breganze-era bikes have begun to appreciate beyond the reach of us mere mortals is another plus.

Note:  For anyone not familiar with the Zane-era vs Breganze-era Laverda models, click here for a brief overview.

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Laverda 668 Black Strike in the uk

The black strike edition was a kind of a one-off within the Zane-era lineup; the air-cooled 668 engine and Nicco Baker designed frame were from the 668 sport model, while the seating and gauge clusters where from the the 668 ghost. The 668 black strike was also the first model with the lighter plastic gas tank, straight exhausts without the restricted collector box and also offered a few bits of optional carbon fiber such as exhausts and optional front fender/mudguard.

This particular Zane-era Laverda 668 black strike looks to be in excellent but not pristine condition.  I can see some minor bits of weathering included some fading in the small side cover panel above the id plate, what looks like some dried polish or flaked off paint on the riders right engine cover and some evidence of brake fluid removing paint on the Marchesini rear wheel.

On the plus side, the pillion cover is in place and looks to be in good condition and the seller indicates both the standard and carbon fiber versions are included for both the front fender/mudguard and exhaust. This is important since all 3 items are pretty much unobtainable nowadays. Also while the “rabbit-ear” standard mirrors are missing from the pics, the seller indicates these are included and the often missing rear plastic hugger/mudguard is in place.  Lastly the seat condition, lack of bubbling in the dash light decals and lack of rust on the dash nuts/bolts all seem to indicate proper storage away from both the hot sun and damp during non-riding time.

blackstrike6

Here is what the seller has to say:

  • Has done 17,235km,
  • Currently has the front carbon mudguard on but I have the original in great nick that comes with it,
  • Also have the original exhaust pipes but currently have the carbon exhausts on.
  • There is a carbon windshield that is with it that I thinks off a ghost legend.
  • Side mirrors are with it but I preferred it without.
  • Battery currently not with bike but will be added before sale.
  • Had a new speedo cable 100km ago, new oil just put in.
  • Rear tire has done 200km (maybe just less, looks like new), front had good tread also.

Note:  The seller lists this as a 2001 but the black strike model was produced from 1997-1998.   Email messages with the seller indicates that the 1st registration was 2001 hence the date.  I would guess this bike is actually stamped a 97 or 98 on the manufacturers id plate which is mounted on the riders right side but was probably in a showroom for a few years (Three Cross or Slater Bros dealerships perhaps?) and was only sold after Laverda was absorbed by Aprilia/Piaggio.

blackstrike5

Is this Zane-era Laverda 668 black strike worth the 3,400GBP asking price?  Well only 50 668 Laverda Black Strikes were produced and since Laverda is now a mothballed marque within Aprilia/Piaggio this is definitely a rare bike.  But the 668cc air cooled engine produced about 70 bhp so its not going to blow the doors off any other bike and some zane-era bikes have had reliability issues with electrics and cranks so the status of these items which would need to be factored in to the price.

To be honest, I think the the current asking price is a bit high but not outragously so.  While the Zane-era laverdas seem to be starting to appreciate, I think the value for this right now is probably closer to 2400-2850GBP.   I do think these will appreciate in value going forward so the bike may be of interest for a UK-based collector looking to add a bit of Zane-era exotica to their collection.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Addendum:  I feel it only fair to let readers know that I have a restored 668 Black Strike in my personal collection.

1st time on RSBFS:  Laverda Black Strike 668 in the UK